For a change of pace, I’ve decided to review those teas which I’ve recently enjoyed. With the exception of the Yunnan Noir and Ooooh Darjeeling, these were all purchased from Upton Tea Imports, which–as I mentioned in this article–requires the buyer to be somewhat fluent in tea knowledge. Otherwise, it stands as a great supplier of fine teas. In any event, my next order will be from Adagio Teas, the company which supplied the two named above. Not that it is a superior tea company, but they offer an interesting selection of high quality teas and a change of venue. Variety is the spice of life!
Along with each review, I shall give some information regarding the type of tea and who would enjoy it. Though, I must confess myself to be somewhat deficient as a tea taster, my descriptions should give you a general idea of what you’re going to experience from each tea.
1. Special Grade Temple of Heaven Gunpowder Green Tea
I’ve always enjoyed Gunpowder for its earthiness, and this particular variety combines a nice earthiness with deep, slightly sweet vegetal flavors and a metallic hint. (By the way, it’s named gunpowder because this tea is rolled to resemble pellets of black powder.) People new to green tea often try this variety first because certain of its flavors are reminiscent of black tea. Just be careful that you do not oversteep it or use too many leaves, because these errors will lead to it becoming too bitter.
Well, dear readers. the the idea to write a post on some of my favorite teas came to mind. As for which categories of tea I prefer, oolong takes first place, then black tea, followed by white tea, and green tea the last place. I just prefer the flowery and yellow fruit flavors which one tends to find in oolong. It’s particularly relaxing after a hard or stressful day. Oolong’s caffeine level stands midway between black and green teas, so it won’t keep one awake all night. Black tea is practically a sine qua non for me in the morning: the morning doesn’t start until that first sip of Assam or whatever strong tea fills my cup passes my lips. Occasionally, I do have coffee, but I often find myself making a pot of tea afterwards anyway. Then, green tea goes well during the afternoon or dinner. Even though I prefer white tea to green tea, sometimes there is difficulty in finding the right occasion for it: having a cup or two of white tea used to be my favorite way of sobering up from a drinking party; so, it’s often the last tea of the day. Now, I shall name which specific strains of tea within each of these four categories are my favorite.
My favorite Oolong has always been Phoenix Mountain Oolong. It’s flavors of honeysuckle and apricot are particularly endearing. At the moment, I’m trying an oolong from the same region sourced by Adagio Teas, named Dancong Aria. It’s also quite wonderful, but the flavors seem a little less intense than what I remember in the Peet’s oolong.